Absorption of apomorphine by various routes in parkinsonism

Authors

  • Dr. Stephen T. Gancher,

    Corresponding author
    1. Departments of Neurology, School of Medicine, Oregon Health Sciences University, Portland, Oregon, U.S.A.
    • 3181 S. W. Sam Jackson Park Road, Portland, OR 97201, U.S.A.
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  • John G. Nutt,

    1. Departments of Neurology, School of Medicine, Oregon Health Sciences University, Portland, Oregon, U.S.A.
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  • William R. Woodward

    1. Departments of Neurology, School of Medicine, Oregon Health Sciences University, Portland, Oregon, U.S.A.
    2. Departments of Biochemistry, School of Medicine, Oregon Health Sciences University, Portland, Oregon, U.S.A.
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Abstract

We wanted to determine the absorption and clinical effect of sublingual (SL) and transdermal apomorphine in parkinsonism. Patients received single SL apomorphine doses (N = 7) and the absorption was compared with parenteral (N = 5) and oral (N = 4) doses. One patient received a transdermal dose of apomorphine. The relative bioavalability of SL apomorphine ranged from 10 to 22% of a parenteral apomorphine dose. Oral apomorphine was less than 4% bioavailable, and the transdermal dose did not produce detectable plasma levels. Three patients with motor fluctuations responded to SL apomorphine, with a latency to effect of 20-40 min and a duration of effect of 15-100 min. One patient used SL apomorphine as an adjunct with levodopa, and during 1 month reported a large decrease in “off” periods. We conclude that apomorphine is effectively absorbed by the sublingual route.

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